Image Credit: <www.martinsonconstruction.com

Image Credit: <www.martinsonconstruction.com>

…I have an awful case of writer’s block this morning. It’s the worst I’ve had in months. My thoughts are scattered, and I am a little numb.

This morning I’d kind of like to talk about relationships, though. This will come together at the end (I think?), so stick with me:

– Relationships are first and foremost about trust. Whether you’re an individual contributor, an entry-level line manager, or a senior executive, trust is something that takes a very long time to build and is easy to shatter. It’s also the most important part of your professional brand and a critical factor in both effective leadership and influence. As such, it should be carefully cultivated and vigorously protected.

– Relationships are also about communication. This is almost by definition. A quick Google search for the definition of the word returns “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.” As human beings, while we connect with one another in many ways, perhaps the most principle way in which we do so is by open and honest communication. Because a strong relationship – be it professional or personal – is built on a foundation of openness.

– Finally, relationships are about respect. I think this is something that’s easy to lose sight of because the constitution of respect is ethereal in nature – it means very different things to different people. But it’s something we should all do our best to instill in every relationship; we never know who we’re slighting, and such things start as small ripples but can build into big waves.

Particularly in HR, having strong relationships featuring all three of these components is an absolutely critical part of our jobs. And its components are integral to us being strong counselors, champions of the company culture, and even functional/business leaders.

…They’re also critical to being a good human being.

These are all just words, of course. But I’m increasingly finding that the weight of them is very real. Living up to them is a continuing process that requires both dedication and a strong moral compass.

Let’s continue to get better at it everyday.

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.